Thursday, March 23, 2006

NBC's "Teachers:" An Education In Prime Time?

(See our latest post about Teachers right here.) At 9:30/8:30 PM, next Tuesday, the NBC television network will soon debut its educomedy-drama, "Teachers" in prime time. From the website:
Modern education isn't easy. It takes everything for Filmore High School English teacher Jeff (Justin Bartha, "National Treasure") to get through a day, when he's surrounded by a school administration mired in bureaucratic red tape and apathetic teachers who adhere to absurd and antiquated rules. And that's only after he's done contending with his class of text-messaging, video-gaming, short-attention-span students who refuse to crack open a book.

But despite his own self-proclaimed indifference, deep inside there's still an occasional spark, especially for the few students Jeff believes may still have a chance. He's a rule-breaker and a wise guy – and he might just be the best teacher these students will ever have.

Joining Bartha in this comedy where the faculty takes center stage is Sarah Alexander (BBC's "Coupling") as the idealistic teacher and Filmore High alum Alice, who won't give up on the students or the school. Jeff's best friend and resident drama teacher is Calvin (Deon Richmond, "The Cosby Show"), while other school denizens include radio comedian Phil Hendrie as Dick, the veteran teacher who is over the system and would rather barbecue behind the gymnasium.

Sarah Shahi ("The L Word") is Tina, the hot new substitute teacher who joins the faculty, and Matt Winston ("Six Feet Under") is Mitch, the eager-to-please teacher who worships Principal Emma Wiggins (Kali Rocha, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer").
I think that this show has been done before. Maybe even more than once.

This is brought to you by the same folks who are responsible for "
Scrubs." Here's how they describe the first episode, titled "Substitute:"
HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW -- In an attempt to make Alice (Sarah Alexander) jealous, Jeff (Justin Bartha) hits on the new substitute teacher, Tina (Sarah Shahi). Meanwhile, Calvin (Deon Richmond) and Dick (Phil Hendrie) try to thwart Alice's attempt to run for faculty chair. Kali Rocha and Matt Winston also star.
Our prediction: Don't get too attached to this one. In all likelihood, it's going to be expelled by the Board very soon after the first day of school. Perhaps after only two or three 30-minute instructional periods.

As for eduentertainment, I actually rather enjoyed "Boston Public." Until that last season, when, like so much other network programming, the story lines became predictable and the characters unbelievable.

Update: (3/28) Teachers has now aired. See what folks are saying about it by clicking here.
See this week's edition of The Carnival of education here and our latest posts over there.